• Michael Thornton

Do you really need those warning lights, decals, and weather stations on your chase vehicle?

Today we are going to talk about the controversial topic of warning lights, decals, and weather stations being displayed on chase vehicles. First and foremost, back when I was 18 years old, I was that stereotypical "storm chaser" who had warning lights and decals. Since then I have taken off every single warning light and decal on my truck. The reason why I decided to take off my decals and warning lights is because in 2016, I found myself chasing in the Texas Panhandle. I realized that almost all of the other chasers who were out chasing didn't have any decals nor warning lights. I soon found out afterwards that most of the other chasers out on the road absolutely hate seeing warning lights and distracting storm chasing decals. Some people might come to the defense and say that the warning lights and decals are "protecting them from being in an accident or helping people stay back from something dangerous" while they chase or spot. But in reality what they usually mean by "protecting them or by letting people know about a danger" is that they want the world to know that they are a storm chaser or spotter because it makes the person feel important. Along with warning lights being unnecessary for chasing, some people like to chase and or spot with warning lights that are red and blue or red and white. This is infact illegal and does nothing more than make storm chasers and storm spotters all together look like a bunch of dummies. Having warning lights and decals on your chase vehicle does not make you anymore safe than a trooper who has his lights on during a traffic stop, who risks getting rear ended because somebody was distracted by the troopers lights.

Furthermore warning lights can be extremely dangerous at night as shown in this video which was taken by Ben Holcomb on April 10th, 2016. If you want to be taken seriously by other chasers and not be disliked or be known as "that guy" then you should definitely lose the warning light bars on your vehicle and ditch the decals because they are very tacky and you do not need them to be able to chase.

Next, we will move onto weather stations. Everyone has to have them mounted onto their vehicles, right? Wrong. Most people who mount weather stations to their vehicle have absolutely no use for it. They just display their AcuRite which they got from Amazon or Lowes or Davis which they got from Cabela's or Amazon on their vehicle to make them once again feel important and to be noticed while chasing. Having a weather station on your vehicle can be dangerous to other people on the road if you do not have it mounted correctly or screwed down correctly. Most chasers who use weather stations on their vehicle just use PVC pipes and a magnet. This has shown to be a very bad combination while chasing, as many chasers have lost their weather station while chasing from very strong winds. Which if you have vehicles behind you and that weather station hits said vehicle, I hope that you have good insurance and you better hope that it doesn't create a huge pileup. Even if you have the weather station mounted correctly the first thing that will be ripped off of your weather station while you are chasing is the plastic wind cups. Again, if those break off of the weather station while you are chasing and hit someone you could be in big trouble. If you really need to have weather instruments on your vehicle because you're going to be recording real data. Then you should contact someone who has made real mobile mesonets which are actually intended to be used while chasing, and no they are not cheap and easily breakable weather stations.

Lastly, I will leave my discussion on this topic at this. Having weather stations, decals, and warning lights on your vehicle does NOT make you a better storm chaser or storm spotter. Knowing what you are doing while chasing or spotting and learning from your mistakes while chasing and spotting is what makes you a better storm chaser and or spotter. Thank You for reading. If you enjoyed reading this post, then maybe think about sharing it with your friends


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